Beginning January 1, 2013

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SHORT STORY: GOAL by Lily Harlem

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Goal!
By
Lily Harlem


My grand home was eerily still and echoing, my least favorite way for it to be. Wandering around the vacuous hallway and the elegant rooms made me feel like I was in a movie, watching someone else’s life. The laughter, the love went with Ted when he left for work leaving just empty space and extravagant possessions.

When he was gone I sometimes had a sensation of spinning, of reaching out for something to hang on to and finding nothing. I hated it, this flailing, soul-aching need to be with him that had been with me since I’d met him. I’d fallen for his cheeky charm which layered over a sure sense of self with all the grace of a rock hitting the base of a puddle. His combination of humor and confidence had been irresistible—add in a body honed to athletic perfection and eyes so dark I could lose myself in their depths, and I was smitten.

But traveling with his job was unavoidable. Ted ‘The Hands’ Hatton was England’s star goalkeeper and tonight the football team were playing a friendly against Spain. They needed him in Wembley more than I needed him at home. His big, strong, safe hands were being counted on by the nation. He had to save those goals, live up to his nickname and be, quite literally, on the ball.

After brushing my teeth I turned back the sheets on our four-poster bed and slipped between the cool cotton, naked. The plasma TV hanging on the wall was on low volume. I’d watched the match earlier and enjoyed seeing my hot hubby stop three goals much to the delight of the crowd. He’d taken a skid across the mud and missed cracking his head on the post by a mere hair’s-breadth, which had me wincing. But the camera zoomed in on his face moments later and had shown him upright and smiling, the ball cradled into his chest just the way I liked to be.

The commentators on TV were now chatting about England’s next match and I flicked the light off, wondering if Ted would get another mention.

I must have dozed because when my mobile phone trilled to life I started, disorientated for a moment, then fumbled and reached it from the bedside cabinet.

“Hey, baby.”

“Ted.” My heart rate picked up. Just hearing his voice had physical effects on me.

“You watch the game?” he asked.

I dropped back onto the pillows, lodged the phone at my ear. “Yeah, great result, well done.”

“They put us through our paces.” He hesitated. “Did I wake you?”

I glanced at the clock. “Yes, but it is one in the morning.” I sighed. “I must have nodded off watching TV. It’s just some dull black and white movie on now.”

He gave a small chuckle. “You sound all lazy and floppy, like when I’ve made love to you for an entire afternoon and you can’t keep your eyes open.”

Running my hand over my breast, I remembered Ted reducing me to that floppy state the week previously. I’d been shopping, had bought new vampish lingerie, and when I’d come home he’d insisted I model it. That had been the end of achieving anything else that day, though I wasn’t complaining. “Mmm,” I said, scooping the lower portion of my breast into my palm. “I like feeling like that.”

“I like feeling you like that.”

His voice was an octave lower and I wondered if he was picturing the same scenario as me. It had been so hot, bent over the back of the sofa, him ramming into me from behind, the doors to the pool and patio flung open, sunlight pouring in. Somehow the fact we were doing every-room-in-the-house sex in the middle of the day made each touch and cry of delight more erotic, more sensual, more carnal.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“Er, just, you know, in my hotel room.”

I paused. “Is that the air conditioning I can hear?” There was a low rumble in the background.

“What, oh, yeah, probably. Tell me what you’re wearing, baby?”

“Nothing.”

“Perfect.”

“You know I sleep naked.” I tweaked my nipple, wishing it was his firm fingers creating the delicious spikes of pleasure.

“Like I said, perfect.” There was a smile in his voice. “Were you dreaming of me?”

“I only dream of you.”

“Was it hot?”

“I’m sure it was.” I was getting hot now, my body tingling and moisture building between my legs. “I wish you were here.”

“Me too.”

“What would you do?” I swallowed and skimmed my hand over my flat belly, ruffled through my strip of pubic hair.

“I’d make you fly high. Have you crying out my name until your throat was hoarse.”

“Ted,” I whispered, parting my legs. “Tell me exactly what you would do.”

He was quiet for a moment. “Are you touching yourself?”

“Yes.” I slipped my fingers through the first folds of my slit, let damp heat wrap around my digits.

“Ah, fuck,” he said, his voice a little tighter.

“So tell me, describe what you would do?”

I heard him swallow, a small gulping sound. “I’d start with your mouth, kiss you, stroke my tongue against yours.”

Squirming, I closed my eyes and pictured his handsome face over mine. Ted was an Olympic-standard kisser. He could almost bring me to orgasm by just kissing my mouth, my neck, my breasts. There was something so sensual, so strong yet teasing about the way he adored me with his lips and tongue.

“Mmm, then what?” I asked, parting my thighs and spreading moisture from my entrance up and over my clit.

“Then I’d head lower, kiss your neck until you wriggled and whimpered. Worship your perfect tits until they were swollen with need and your nipples so hard they ached.”

They were aching now, just from me hearing him talk that way. I sucked in a breath, arched my back and enjoyed the thud of my heart beating loud and hard with arousal. “And once you had me writhing with lust beneath you, then what?”

“I’d push your legs apart, settle between them so the soft skin of your inner thighs pressed against my shoulders, and I’d lick you.”

Another flood of warmth filled my pussy. Damn, just the memory of his tongue on my clit could have me climbing toward an orgasm.

“Are you touching your pussy?” he asked.

“Yes, yes…what was that?” I’d heard a strange wailing noise on his end of the line.

“A siren, a police car or something.”

“Oh.” I pictured him on his hotel room bed, his cock hard as he spoke dirty words to me, the London traffic ceaseless on the streets below.

“Are you?” he asked again. “Touching yourself?”

“Yes, but I’m pretending it’s you. Fingering me, fretting my clit.” I gasped. My clit was distended and needy, a pressure building within. “Oh, Ted, I wish you were here.”

“Get yourself ready to come, baby, so I can listen to you build up. It’s turning me on so much, making my cock throb with the need to feel you squeezing it.”

I sped up the rotations on my clit, the pressure just right. I let my breaths come wild and ragged against the phone, knowing Ted would love hearing them. “Oh, oh, yes,” I gasped. “Oh, Ted, I’m thinking of you, here. Your big cock shoving into me, the weight of your body blasting over me, fucking me, filling me, oh…”

“God, you look so sexy,” he said.

“I’m going to, oh…” I paused. Somewhere in the threads of sense in my mind I realized there’d been something different about Ted’s last words. They’d echoed into my right ear from the phone, but my left ear had also registered his voice.

Flicking open my eyes to the dim light of the room, I saw a shadow standing by my bed.

I stopped masturbating and scooted upright, a squeal catching in my chest.

“Shh, baby, its me.”

“Ted?”

I must be dreaming.

“Yeah.” He took my mobile from the pillow. Clicked it off and set it on the bedside table. “Now let’s both come together.”

The sheets flicked back, the mattress dipped, then Ted dropped over me. His body heat seared against my skin, and the smell of the outdoors mixed with his fresh lemony cologne filled my nostrils.

“You’re here,” I gasped, slotting my fingers into his hair.

“Yeah, sod staying in a hotel when you’re only two hours away. I just packed up and left the guys to celebrate alone.”

“I can’t believe it,” I said, wrapping my legs around the backs of his thighs and tilting my pelvis so the tip of his cock nudged my entrance. “You did that for me?”

“Baby.” He brushed my hair from my sweat-damp forehead. “I would do anything for you. Making you happy has become my ultimate goal in life.”

About the Author: Lily Harlem is an award winning, multi-published author of erotic romance. She lives in the UK and since giving up a career in nursing has been widely published on both sides of the Atlantic. She particularly enjoys writing sports themed romance and has four books currently published in her HOT ICE series, all about those bad boys of the ice, and her latest novel, Scored, follows the England football captain on his road to victory in and out of the bedroom.

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/
Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/

If you enjoyed meeting Ted 'The Hands' Hatton in "Goal!" why not hang out with the broodingly sexy captain of the England football team, Lewis Tate, in full length novel, Scored - also by Lily Harlem.

Monday, September 17, 2012

INTERVIEW and Giveaway: Alyssa Turner

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Alyssa Turner, whose latest erotic romance Double Take was released August 3.

She's written five free-standing pieces and appears in three published anthologies with more on the way.

"One of my personal favorites right now is Send," she told me. "It’s such a roller coaster type of story. I just think it’s a blast to read. I have different favorites at different times. They are all my babies after all. Double Take is high on the list right now too, of course. It’s heavy with plot and the sex holds meaning beyond physical pleasure. I’ll often use sex symbolically in my books to signify healing or self-discovery. When I’m able to make a statement that has deeper meaning than pleasure and even love, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal."

She's currently working on the first draft of Polished, an MMF where the main character, Spencer, is a demotions foreman in a loving hetero relationship. However, he's had some secret yearnings since puberty that he's ignored. His girlfriend, Rory, knows about them even though he's never talked about them and wants him to know she doesn't judge him for them. In fact, she has some secret kinks and desires of her own and a third person might be the answer to both their desires. Jack is a self-described playboy who never had the pleasure of knowing what it is to be loved, not even by his overbearing father who he works for. After surviving a dangerous accident the two guys form a bond of friendship and Jack invites them into his life for the weekend. Only problem is Jack’s dad just might ruin everything if his fear of intimacy doesn’t make him run the other direction first.

Alyssa was an only child who grew up watching The Young and the Restless with her grandmother whenever she got the chance.

"That dramatic flare appeared first in my elaborate Barbie sagas and eventually ended up on paper when I grew out of my playthings. The stories got more scandalous, the plots more complex. I developed a sprawling world of high school debauchery—all written by hand on note book paper," she told me. "Now I’ve gone and dated myself. Let’s just say I had a word processor in college. I didn’t find my muse again until about five years ago. With barely any free time, writing erotica was (is) an amazing way to shed pretenses and relax with a few favorite fantasies. Romance brings heart to the mix and everything just falls into place from there."

She doesn't have much time to write with raising a family, and some days she's just too tried to get the words out of her head an onto the keyboard.

"I have my writing chair and a big palm tree that shields me from the rest of my brood. When I’m in that seat, it’s time out for Mommy," she declared.

When she's reading, she looks for the author to walk the line between keeping her guessing and remaining true to their plot path.

"I’m particularly focused on the element of surprise in my writing. I feel cheated every time I know what’s going to happen next when I’m reading a book. I’ve been know to play a fun little game of tug-of –war with my reader—giving them a little of what they expect and then yanking hard on the rope in another direction," she admitted. "In the end everything falls into place and the reader will even recall that there were some clues along the way. I absolutely love it when I read a review that says they were surprised or that the storyline was unique. The worst thing a writer can do is tell the whole story in the first few paragraphs. Double Take is written like a layer cake. The plot is revealed little by little. It's chapters before you know the whole story about the characters and even longer before you realize what the real conflict is. I like to build a strong foundation and then narrow in on a particular theme. In Double Take it’s the broad theme of rebels seeking social justice and the narrow theme of self-discovery and empowerment."

Because Alyssa writes erotic romance, her plots always start with a particular coupling in mind. From there she tries to imagine a unique situation that would bring them together. Once she has the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ it’s time to figure out the ‘who’. The characters are born out of their circumstances."

"Could you ever co author a book with someone?" I asked. "If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?"

"I once wrote a novella with a perfect stranger. I started with the first chapter and posted it on my blog in the first person female. He wrote the next chapter from the first person male point of view and we switched back and forth for like 10 chapters. Neither of us knew where the other was going to take the story. It was very organic and oddly intimate, since we only exchanged avatars. The end result was a smash hit among our followers and it was a blast. I’d do it again."

I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Don’t sell yourself short if you don’t have the experience or education of the other authors you admire. There’s something to be said for a fresh voice. What you should do is read A LOT! Read unpublished and published writers. Some of the best writing I’ve read was from a amateurs writers group. I learned how to hone my own voice by paying attention to others."

The biggest thing Alyssa has going for her is the element of surprise.

"It might be my characters that are uniquely paired, as in Drawing Diego where a young college student of Indian decent has a crush on her artistic Mexican neighbor, or the setting that is unusual like with my African tryst in Mia Doga Means Goodbye, and often the concept is compellingly different as in my recent twin ménage release Double Take where I’ve delved into the area of class warfare in the twenty second century.

"Now, I have a question for your readers. As a reader of Erotic Romance, do you like to be surprised by the plot? Let me know, and you'll be entered into a drawing for a copy of Double Take.” Enjoy this book video of Double Take.



About the Author:
Alyssa Turner's writings address a woman's desire to really have it all - including the things she's not supposed to want. Hot stories under challenging circumstances are explicit and emotional because erotica should leave you with lingering images and a thoughtful smile.

Few things make her smile like the rush of creativity, she's addicted. When she isn't writing, she's cooking dinner or washing clothes ... or dreaming up her next delicious scene.

She writes for Xcite Books and Etopia Press, with two full-length novels currently available. Her debut publication was a short in Best Women's Erotica 2011, edited by Violet Blue. More shorts selected for print anthologies from Xcite Books and Cleis Press, with the illustrious editors, Miranda Forbes and Rachel Kramer Bussel.

Find Alyssa online at

http://alyssaturnerwrites.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/alyssaturnerwrites
http://www.goodreads.com/AlyssaTurner
https://twitter.com/alyturn



Same face, same mission, same woman. One big risk...

In post apocalyptic New York, Shannon Morris has one job to do: find the secrets everyone wants to hide from the all-powerful Eaglecorp. From her appointed perch high above the underclass, she would never have guessed she'd become a rebel sympathizer, or fall for two men at the same time--twins.

Ex-military resistance fighters Tristan and Pryor Davies also have a mission: to take down Eaglecorp by any means necessary. And Shannon is their key. But loving Shannon was never part of that plan. It's a complication no amount of training could have prepared them for. They know instinctually how to rule her pleasure, and the sex between the three of them is explosive. But when the twins are forced to choose between their mission and Shannon, they struggle to find a solution they can live with. Because living without Shannon isn't an option.

Awakened to Eaglecorp's oppressive stranglehold on the people, Shannon begins to discover just what she's capable of. There's no turning back from the mission--or from the searing heat of twin lovers. Shannon is the key to defeating Eaglecorp, but only if she can unlock the truth before everything falls apart. In the end, the biggest secret she'll uncover might be her own...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SHORT STORY: BETWEEN SHELVES by Elyzabeth M. VaLey

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Between Shelves
by
Elyzabeth M. VaLey


Melanie looked at Justin from across the table. He had his head down, his dirty blond hair falling in loose strands over his eyes as he read. He swept them away with irritation and scribbled some notes.

She bit the tip of her pen and tapped her foot impatiently. She sighed. She had been staring at Justin out of the corner of her eye for the past hour but he was oblivious. She knew she was supposed to be studying for her master’s exam but she couldn’t concentrate, not when Justin’s frown reminded her of the look he had when he made her orgasm.

Melanie glanced around her. The library was practically deserted. Her pulse raced. Would she dare? Their desk was partially hidden by shelves and they would only be visible if someone came to stand right next to them. Justin groaned in frustration. Clearly, his study session wasn’t going well. He needed to relax. Heck, she needed to relax. If anyone came upon them, well...

Quietly placing her pen on the table, Melanie pushed back her chair. She held her breath. Justin remained unmoving. She grinned and slowly lowered herself to the ground. She crawled the short distance to Justin’s legs and placed her hand on his well-endowed package. Justin jumped and swore under his voice.

“Melanie!” He lowered his head to glimpse at her under the table. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Melanie laughed, amused. “Study and try not to squirm too much,” she ordered with a silent giggle. Justin groaned but did as he was told. Already she could feel his cock hardening in her hand. Carefully, she lowered his zipper and released the growing member. She caressed it in her warm hands, enjoying the silky feeling.

“Melanie,” Justin growled at her. She giggled again before kissing the base of his cock. Justin jumped in her hands.

“Shhhh,” she soothed.

Slowly, she licked his shaft from the base to the top. She repeated the process. She heard Justin’s labored breathing and had to suppress back a moan. Liquid rushed to her core, heating her inside and out. A thought occurred to her. Quickly, she released her hold on Justin and undid the buttons to her blouse. Her eyes met Justin who had bent over to see why she had let go of him.

“You’re crazy,” he stated as he watched her with eager eyes. Melanie nodded and unclasped the front of her bra. Her breasts fell free. Justin made to grab them but she playfully slapped his hands away.

“Later, you keep pretending that you’re studying.”

He ruefully obeyed. Settling herself on her knees once more, Melanie took his stiff cock into her mouth. She settled herself over the bulbous top for a moment, swirling her tongue slowly. Cupping his balls, she pressed them softly as she lowered her head, little by little, swallowing his engorged member. She lifted and lowered her head, teasing him while taking more of him into her mouth. Above her, she heard Justin’s harsh breathing, a soft moan erupting from his lips when she flattened her tongue over the base of his cock. Searching blindly, his large hands found her breasts and pinched her nipples, enticing a moan from her. With thumb and forefinger, Justin rolled her nipples, causing a steady thrumming to grow between her legs.

Abruptly, she released her hold on him. She looked around in haste and her heart climbed to her throat as she observed on the other side of the bookshelf a pair of feet. She waited for a few minutes, afraid that someone had spotted them. Barely a few seconds later, the feet shuffled away.

Relieved, Melanie observed the virile member before her. She wasn’t one to let things unfinished and she wasn’t about to start today. Both she and Justin were going to find release right then and there. Resolute, she accommodated herself between Justin’s legs. Kneeling before him, she grasped her own breasts and arranged them around his prick. She licked the head of his shaft and began rubbing her breasts against the solid member. She moaned as pleasure cursed through her at the contact. She tugged at her own nipples as she increased her speed. Justin groaned and she knew he was close. She wrapped her lips around his cock and lowered her head one last time. Justin pressed his hands to her breasts, trapping his cock between them. She whimpered in both surprise and pleasure at the gesture. Justin swore under his breath and the next thing she knew he was coming into her mouth. Eagerly, Melanie swallowed the thick strings of come. When he was done, she smoothly licked him clean, zipped up his pants and sat back.

Justin stared down at her and she wondered at her appearance. She gingerly passed a hand through her hair trying to smooth it out. Her body shook and her thighs felt wet. Her breasts were tender and she longed to have Justin’s mouth on them, but knew that under the current circumstances it was impossible.

Justin smiled. His blue eyes shone mischievously and she suppressed a shiver. What did he have in mind?

“You’re a very naughty girl, Melanie,” he whispered.

Melanie nodded. She knew that dangerous tone and this time she did shudder. Whatever he had in mind, she knew she would enjoy it.

“Button up your shirt and come sit next to me, sweetheart.”

Hastily she fastened her bra, buttoned her shirt, smoothed out her hair and adjusted her skirt. She glanced around before climbing from under the table and setting herself next to Justin. While she had been fixing herself, Justin had moved her books and pens to his side. As soon as she sat down, he hugged her to him and found her lips. Melanie moaned into his mouth as his tongue danced with hers.

“Are you wet, sweetheart?” he whispered against her lips.

“Yes.”

“How wet?” he asked while taking his time in caressing her inner thigh.

“Very wet.”

“Put your hands on the desk where I can see them and don’t move them.”

Melanie obeyed without protest. Justin chuckled. His large hand finally reached the triangle between her legs. He cupped her soaked panties. Melanie lurched forward at the contact. His hand was so warm. Even though her pussy was on fire his heat was searing through her. More liquid rushed to pool between her legs and she bit her lip in agony.

“Please--” she began to say.

Justin rubbed his knuckles against her cunt causing her to bite into her lower lip again. Tortuously slowly, he wound his way under her panties. She grabbed the edge of the table until her knuckles turned white. Justin took his time, lightly caressing her wet lips with a single finger.

“Please—“

He inserted another finger and Melanie bit back a moan as he leisurely took his time exploring the outside of her soaking pussy. Finally, when she was about to despair, she felt his thick fingers begin to push inside her. She whimpered in delight. At a snail’s pace, he pushed them inside until he could go no further. Melanie pressed her thighs together trapping his hand. Justin chuckled.

“If you don’t relax your hold I won’t be able to pleasure you, sweetheart.”

She nodded and released her grip on his hand. She was rewarded by the feeling of another finger slipping into her. Justin began a constant seesaw movement into her. He’d mix it up by rotating his fingers inside her cunt. Melanie rocked her body. She closed her eyes, pleasure slowly building inside her. Suddenly she heard feminine laughter and footsteps. Her eyes popped open. She stared at Justin but he continued his ministrations oblivious to the sound of people approaching.

“Justin—“

He captured her mouth into his and she lost all sense of direction as at the same time his thumb flicked her clit, once, twice, thrice. Her body exploded into a million little pieces. Her wail of pleasure drowned into his mouth as her vagina contracted in spasms and liquid dripped onto Justin’s fingers, her thighs and even the seat.

When her body finally began to relax, Justin released his hold on her. Melanie opened her eyes. Two tables away the group of girls she had heard laughing were settling down, opening books and chatting quietly. Justin glanced at her, a merry twinkle in his light eyes.

“How about we continue this study session at home, sweetheart?”

With a peck on his lips, Melanie agreed wholeheartedly.

About the Author: Appearances are deceiving. By day usually shy and quiet; another face in the crowd. By night Elyzabeth’s calm demeanor transforms. Words flow from her fingers giving life to elaborate fantasies of love and desire. Visit her realm at www.inadreambeyond.blogspot.com.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Author Interview: Victoria Vane

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Victoria Vane. Victoria is visiting with us today as part of her Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will give one randomly chosen commenter a download of her first erotic historical romance A Breach of Promise. In addition, if there is more than ten comments on this interview, one of the commenters will win her choice of A Breach of Promise or A Wild Night's Bride.

Victoria has written eight books—she has two works of romantic historical fiction, The Highest Stakes and Fortune's Son, as Emory Lee. A year ago she began writing erotic historical fiction under the Victoria Vane pseudonym and now has six more titles to her credit.

She is incredibly proud of The Devil DeVere series.

"It's truly unique as it's comprised of four novellas (each ranging in length from 32-42K words) with each story leading directly into the next, much like a serial novel," she said. "The other thing that makes it so unusual is that the tone of every book is distinctly different. A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE is the first in the series. It's very over the top and a bit lewd at times, but it really works. THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS is also comedy, but with a very different tone. There is only one love scene and it's sweetly sexy but still very hot and fabulous. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is darkly erotic with elements of mystery and intrigue and THE DEVIL'S MATCH is deeply emotional and sensual with a touch of the exotic added to the erotic. This series has really allowed me to stretch myself."

She's been hearing from a lot of people about the series.

"They absolutely love it," she said, "DeVere, in particular, is an unforgettable character. As to what they say—they want more! And I plan to give it to them next year with two or three spin off titles.

A DEVIL BY ANOTHER NAME; A DEVIL IN THE MAKING; A DEVIL IN DIAMONDS."

Under stress free conditions, Victoria usually gets up between 8 and 9 AM, drinks a few cups of coffee, and does her "busy work" such as answering emails, Facebook, blogging, promoting, etc.

"I am not a morning person and am not usually creative during the day. It's my drudge time," she said. "In the afternoon I run errands and do things around the house and then cook dinner. When the table is cleared I go to my office and close the door and there I sit for the next 6-8 hours writing. I rarely go to bed before 1AM. If under deadline, however, all bets are off. I do almost nothing but write. I don't leave my office, the laundry stacks up and my family eats a lot of pizza. If I can't 'create' I edit the story but I still write. It's insanity."

"What inspired you to start writing?" I asked.

"One day I just woke-up with a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I had never written anything, had never taken a creative writing class, and didn't know any writers, but I just knew I had to write this story to get it out of my head. So at forty four years old, I began writing. Fourteen months later, I wrote THE END and said What the heck do I do now?"

She admits that she doesn't plan her books—they just largely happen. She will be begin with a plot idea that's almost always inspired by something she read in a history book or while websurfing. Once the initial idea pops into her head, she starts to think about characters, but she doesn't really map them out either.

"I just start writing, usually with a specific scene that I have dreamt, and then they start talking," she said. "My characters always tell me who they are. I rarely tell them!"

"Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?" I asked. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"I think writer's block plagues every writer from time to time. Typically, I do one of two things, either try to skip ahead in the story and piece it together later, or go to the beginning and start editing until I can get my head back into the story. My worst bout of writer's block occurred half way through the manuscript I just finished. I was so frustrated that I was ready to chuck the whole thing! I just couldn't move forward. Everything felt all wrong, so I started at the beginning, re-reading and revising as I went. I ended up cutting four thousand words! I was under deadline at the time, so that's a scary thing to do, but it was necessary to move forward again. I had to clean out the clutter."

Finally I asked, "If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?"

"Almost everything unrelated to craft. I never knew I was going to be a writer. I went into this cold turkey and unprepared. If I were starting over, I would establish a web presence and strong support network of fellow writers and I would work early to engage readers. I would have created my 'brand' from the start. Instead everything has been a process of evolution and learning by experience (not the recommended course, I assure you!," she replied. "I don't know that writing classes would have done much for me because I don't really plot and I write what I'm inspired to write. Thankfully my editors have liked my word as I've never had to lock horns or do any major revision so far, but I'm very much a maverick who refuses to follow rules! (Probably why I don't currently have a contract with a mainstream publisher!)"

Check out the video:



About the Author:
A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms. Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.

Find Victoria online at

Web Site: http://authorvictoriavane.com
Blog: http://victoriavane.wordpress.com
FB: Author Victoria Vane
Twitter: Authorvictoriav

THE DEVIL DEVERE VOLUME I: Two scorching HOT historical romance novellas

A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a machinating rake? Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis is a lonely lady down on her luck. Sir Edward Chambers is steadfast, respectable and avowed to a life … of celibacy. Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere is simply bored and hell-bent to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. But with the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay.

THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS: Desperate times call for devilish measures… The coddled and pampered Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants and what she wants is Captain Hewett DeVere, but what's a girl to do when the man of her dreams has eyes for another? Younger brother to Viscount Ludovic "The Devil" DeVere, "Hew" has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down with the right woman. When Hew shows interest in Vesta's godmother, Diana, Vesta vows to prove to Hew that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of…a huntress.

*These stories are also available individually as e-books.*

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

INTERVIEW: MIA DOWNING

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Mia Downing whose latest release Ripped has just been released.

This book is important for Mia because it deals with Gavin White's issues that stem from being the child of an alcoholic as well as other things. Mentally, he's not in a stable place, and that's why he's pushed his friend, Erik Clarke, away.

"I am also a child of an alcoholic, so the issues and concepts Gavin deals with were ones I didn't necessarily want to write about," she admitted, "but the book kept wanting to go that way, so..There are many things from my life that influenced the story. The concept of safe--having places and people that are safe havens--is still very prevalent in my life. Another interesting point was Erik never knew how bad Gavin's home life was even though they were friends since preschool. I have a friend that I've known since we were ten, and I never told her about what went on in my home. She knew my dad yelled a lot, but that was it. Kids want to be normal, even if their world isn't. I verified that while writing the story. In no way is this story autobiographical, though. "

Each book that Mia writes has a small goal she wants to achieve as a writer. Exceeding Boundaries had a goal of just stringing conflict and making a good stor work. Spy Games: Trained for Seduction was the conflict/motivation goal in a bigger word count with a touch of suspense. Mia wanted to see if she could make a situation where she would feel comfortable to indulge in a ménage is she were the heroine.

"I can honestly say I would jump at the chance to be Kate, because she has two incredible men who love her completely. A ménage with them would be a dream come true," she told me.

The second book in the series, Spy Games: Lethal Limits, will be out in the late fall.

"Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?" I wondered. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"Oh yes, I get writer’s block. I drink tequila shots off the belly of a hot male stripper until I hear the voices that tell me what to do to get the words flowing. Or maybe those voices are the cops speaking… Kidding!! Just kidding. Actually, if I have writer’s block, then I’m going the wrong way in my story, either trying to make the conflict be something it’s not, or there isn’t the motivation build to take the story that direction. In the male/male erotic romance I just completed, I had writer’s block two times. Both times I had sent the hero into the wrong direction. So I backed up, thought about what really needed to happen, and the story sorted itself out."

Mia reads Watership Down every year as a sort of a pilgrimage. She also loved growing up with Anne McCaffery's dragons and, on the other end of the spectrum, the historical romances of Kathleen Woodwiss, Beatrice Small, and Johanna Lindsey.

"I also read Harlequin Presents by the zillion because my grandmother loved them, and I think that’s where I got my love of very alpha heroes. However, I get bored writing them that strong, so I try to vary my heroes so they’re interesting," she said.

"What comes first, the plot or characters?"

"Is that like the chicken and the egg thing? Because I have chickens, and let me tell you, they come first and cost a lot more than a box of eggs. Those eggs don’t arrive every day, either, and usually when you want eggs to bake or to make deviled eggs for a picnic, the danged creatures go on strike. In the case of plot vs. characters, I’m going to say neither comes first—they evolve together. I get a snippet in my mind, sort of like a movie trailer. People doing things, saying things, and it makes me want to find out more. For me, the book plays in my head like a movie, and I just write it all down, what the characters say and do. It’s really cheating, and I think the movies come from something aliens loaded in when they abducted me at some point. Sort of like Alien Red Box, only the player is in my head and the only way I can share is to write it down."

The hardest part of writing for Mia revolves around the fact that, because she writes erotic romance, it's not always something she wants the whole world reading—which is very ironic for a writer.

"I had to tell my 95 year-old grandmother that no, I would not give her my pen name. No, she could not read my book. Yes, I understood she had nine kids, and knew what sex was, and that she read hot books in her time. Ain’t happening, Nana. I ended up writing something she can read in my real name, so she can brag and gloat, and I’ll have to write something else again, soon, because that woman is like a dog with a bone," she told me. "I also do not wish to educate my children in the joys of sex, so I have to be careful about what I write when they are around. It’s really bad enough that sex education in my house consists of Family Guy re-runs. No, I’m not a good mother, but I am wise enough to know that they may wish to claw out their eyes if they read what I write and then equate that to what I may do with their father. Which is laughable, because my husband couldn’t get into half of those positions with his back issues. As an adult kid with parents, I get this. My step-dad wanted to buy one of my books to get pointers, and I informed him he was not doing that stuff to my mother. So I get it. So you can probably guess that I do not home school. Nope. School is wonderful. Summer vacation not so much, because the kids can read, and they try to sneak up on me to read what I’m writing.But I do have parts of my stories that do not involve sex, and I write those. Or I go on the laptop."

Her actual writing space is, admittedly, dusty and cluttered.

"It would be condemned if someone actually lived at the computer (which I do, so don’t tell them, whoever those people are, or they’ll condemn it.) I write in the living room, next to the blaring T.V. with headphones on. It’s in front of an unused door to our addition that’s being built, so I can see in the reflection if people are sneaking up on me. My children like to do that. I have a rubber band gun for such occasions. It’s a six-shooter and I have deadly aim."

Mia doesn't write in linear fashion. She will jump in with the first scene she sees in her head, and then write whatever other scene she sees.

"Sometimes it’s just dialogue, or a scene set up, or something about the character. Usually I know the ending by then, and I’ll write that next. Then I go back and fill in the middle with scenes to connect the beginning to the end," she explained. "This creates problems, because if I write myself into a corner I sometimes can’t beg anyone to read it because it is a mess. I do have one very good friend that is brave enough to dance the mines that I’ve set up. She finds it amusing and interesting, or so she says. The other problem is if, in the middle of the book I learn something big, I have to fix the ending. In Lethal Limits, the heroine revealed something I wasn’t expecting, and I had to rewrite the ending. But I didn’t care, because they were only words and it just meant more time I spent with my characters. I also do not write in chapters. I write in scenes, and then go back and break everything up into nice chapters. Sometimes I have to fiddle to make things work, but I don’t think anyone can tell. I’m good with the spackle that way."

When Mia's not writing, she's a lingerie model in her spare time for a well-known company.

"Actually, I am pretty boring," she said. "I have lupus, which is a systemic disease that affects the immune system. Sunlight aggravates the condition so I am a vampire that doesn’t suck blood or sparkle in the sunlight. I actually started writing again as a way to fill the afternoon, because I needed to rest, but I didn’t want to nap, and the soaps were boring. So I started writing again. I also like horses (we just got one for my daughter) and knitting. I do decorative painting and my sister wants a mural or two in her house, so that’s on the agenda. I love to cook and was a chef at one point, but no one eats the fancy crap I can make. I learned how to shoot the shotgun this spring, and I look forward to knocking down that little caped cutout of a cowboy who I can’t seem to hit to save my soul. I swear he jumps." Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Read the genre you want to write, then read what the publisher you are targeting is putting out, so you don’t get rejected for sending them stuff they don’t publish. If they don’t publish what you offer, they’re not going to change their mind because you are awesome. Then take that information and write what YOU want to write, not for the market. The market changes so quickly that when you get your book done and to a publisher, there may be no need. Ten years ago paranormal was dead in the water. Now it’s the hottest thing since sliced cheese.

"Don’t knock starting smaller, but choose a publisher that has been around and has a good reputation. The Wild Rose Press is a small publisher, but they have great covers and work well with their authors. My editor is a goddess who I picture in a black corset and leather, thigh-high boots. She has a big whip and uses it well. "Write, write, write. If your first book is rejected a few times, move on to the next book instead of fixing that one. Sometimes a book can’t be fixed, and I really think your first novels will end up as exercises probably not meant for human consumption. I have two that live in boxes and will stay there, but what they gave me is invaluable. "My last piece of advice: do not go Indie unless you have a private copy editor you wish to pay to make sure your work is good quality and find a good cover artist. So many authors are putting junk up on sites without making sure what they give the reader is quality work. There are also wonderful reads, but it’s hit or miss sometimes, and as a consumer, I become frustrated with the misses. You are too close to your work to see that your hero is being a jerk, or your grammar mistakes are not voice, but are really grammar mistakes. Listen to those around you, listen to your gut, and then make sure your work is the best it can be before you send it out. One star reviews on a book site will not net you new readers and will make you very sad."

About the Author: Mia Downing started creating heroes at age four, but her heroes then rode ponies to rescue the princess, and only kissed her on the cheek. Today, Mia's heroes still rescue princesses, but the price of their toys and the expertise of their seduction leads to a lot more than a peck on the cheek. When Mia isn't busy creating new stories for her readers she fills in as an underwear model for a prestigious lingerie company. She also lives in CT with her family, and enjoys horses and knitting.



Lifeguard/artist Gavin White has been holding the ripped shreds of his life together by the seams. Facing the anniversary of his sister's death, he fights the dark call of dependency and is at the edge of succumbing when his best friend since preschool returns to his life. Handsome geek-turned-hunk, Erik Clarke, wasn't afraid to come out and had been bold enough to kiss Gavin the last time they were together. Damn that kiss. Gavin wants more. So much more, but he was never brave enough to tell Erik his dreams. With his future hanging by a tattered thread, Gavin must trade one temptation for another or risk ripping his life apart.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: SIERRA CARTWRIGHT

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Sierra Cartwright whose latest book is Jane Eyre, part of the Clandestine Classics series. Sierra will give one commenter on today's interview a copy of this book.

She told me that crafting her portion of Jane Eyre was one of the most terrifying things she had ever done and was unbelievably difficult.

"The original work is so beloved, so breathtakingly beautiful, I was awed," she told me. "I was overwhelmed. I struggled more with this project than any other, because it means so much to so many people. I loved every moment of it."

She is working on an upcoming trilogy from Total-E-Bound that she's excited about. All the books will be set in Colorado with the mountains as a back drop and she assured me that all the heroes will be delicious. Those will be followed by more releases in her Zones series.

Sierra started writing when she was about eight.

"Back then, there was no spell check and no computers! Dreadful! My elementary school librarian 'published' my books and gave me a special place in the library for my books. Turns out I was neurotic back then, too. I NEVER looked to see if anyone checked them out," she confessed. "I wrote fanfic (I didn’t know that’s what it was!) when I was in high school. I continued to write, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t find success early or easily. I wrote ten full books over the course of ten years before I finally got a fabulous agent who managed to get me a contract. And I wish I could say everything I have written since has gotten a bright, shiny contract. I’ve joked about wallpapering a bathroom with my rejection letters. Unfortunately, I only have three bathrooms!"

When Sierra went through her divorce, she stopped writing for several years—she doesn't know if it was writer's block or something else, but she eventually came back to writing. Now if she's "blocked" it's usually because she hasn't thought something all the way through—either character motivation or plot point.

"At those points, I generally go and do something physically strenuous where I stop thinking entirely," she said. "I may jump on my mountain bike or play racquetball or weight train. There’s something about getting 'away' completely that frees up my brain. If I stop grinding on the problem, I generally find a solution."

"What did you want to be when you grew up?" I asked.

"Grow up? You mean I have to?! Seriously, I always wanted to be a writer. As I became an adult, I wanted to run a company. Today, I have the best of all worlds. I serve as general manager of an environmentally friendly company and I get to spend my evenings and weekends pursuing my first love."

Sierra is very much a plotter.

"Surprisingly, the more time I spend thinking about the book before I get started, the faster I can write and the less revision I need to make to my plot points. To me it’s like going on a hiking trip. If I decide where I’m going, I know how much gear I need. Do I need my summit pack? Or will a fanny pack do? A 100 oz Camelbak? Or a couple of water bottles. If it’s a three hour easy hike, I need a certain amount of food. If I’m summiting, I need to carry enough food to sustain me at 500 calories per hour (during the ascent). I look at books to pick the 'best' trail—depending on what trip I’m looking for—shortest, most scenic, etc. I look at the weather forecast. Do I need lightweight gloves or down-filled mittens? I’ve had to bail out others on the mountain who didn’t plan as well…Some people get ill from lack of water, etc. I try to think through the possibilities before leaving the house. I approach my writing the same way."

As you can guess, when Sierra's not writing, she loves be outdoors, finding something restorative about nature.

"I love to hike," she told me. "Last week I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Yesterday, I rode my bike next to Clear Creek for an hour and a half. I’m considering my next fourteener (a mountain that is over 14,000 feet high.) "

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.

"Okay, this is REALLY embarrassing, and I’ve never told anyone this before…I had a padded bra on at a very public event—I was receiving an award in front of hundreds of people—and when I got back to the table, a friend handed me one of the little pieces of fabric that made up the padding! Yep, I lost part of my boobs in public! Fortunately, I don’t think many people realized what was going on."

Sierra told me that one of the reasons she prefers romance, traditional or erotic, is the promise of a happily ever after, or at least a happy-for-now ending.

"Life doesn’t come with any guarantees, so when I get to the end of a book, I generally like it to end on a positive note. I want my stories to be emotional as well as smoking hot. I don’t want any gratuitous scenes, rather, I want my hero(es!) and heroine to have their relationship change or their emotions impacted by each scene."

Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"I recommend that all authors, new and experienced to read. Read. Read.Definitelyread. Read the type of erotic romance you want to write. Read erotic romances that aren’t in your particular sub-genre, so that you get a feel for what others are doing. Read outside your genre so that you’re always learning new techniques and seeing what works. Write what you know. Write what you want to learn about. And if you’re interested in adding BDSM elements, Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon is an excellent book. And craft is essential. Understanding POV, scene and sequel, showing, rather than telling, is every bit as important in erotic romance as it is in any genre. My go-to book is Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. Also, find beta readers or a fabulous critique group. Feedback, even if difficult, is essential. Always, always, always learn. One of my favorite athletes is Rafa Nadal, number three tennis player on planet earth. Rafa has said he never goes to practice. He goes to learn. If the best of the best still wants to learn, so do I."

About the Author:
Born in Northern England and raised in the Wild West, Sierra Cartwright pens books that are as untamed as the Rockies she calls home. She's an award-winning, multi-published writer who wrote her first book at age nine and hasn't stopped since. Sierra invites you to share the complex journey of love and desire, of surrender and commitment.

Her own journey has taught her that trusting takes guts and courage, and her work is a celebration for everyone who is willing to take that risk.

Find Sierra online at

http://www.facebook.com/SierraWrites
https://www.amazon.com/author/sierracartwright
http://twitter.com/sierrawrites



One of the world's best loved books, Jane Eyre, is retold with scorching passion…

Mystery, betrayal, scandal, and a love that transcends time…

There was only him...

From the moment Jane Eyre sets eyes on her one and true master, Mr. Rochester, her life is irrevocably changed.

The tall, dark man is an enigma, complex, deep, compelling, frightening, and tempting beyond compare.

This stern, unyielding man brooks no refusal and demands all of what Jane has to offer as he invites her on a journey of the senses that would scandalise society. He demands her abject surrender. In his strong and athletic arms, Jane submits to his darkest desires and discovers hers are every bit as searing, plunging her into a world she never suspected and never wants to escape.

The thrilling and beloved novel is perhaps more relevant today than it ever was. Jane Eyre's struggles to live a life of grand passion, compromising nothing, willing to sacrifice everything for what she believes, resonates with the modern woman's struggles to have it all, to be it all, and to love with uncompromising abandon.

Monday, September 3, 2012

INTERVIEW: DESIREE HOLT

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Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Desiree Holt who newest release, Northanger Abbey, is part of the Clandestine Classics collection from Total-E-Bound. Desiree will give away the winner's choice to a book from her backlist to one randomly drawn commenter.

"Victorian England is such an interesting time to write about and Northanger Abbey was always one of my favorites," she told me. "The challenge to 'spicing it up' comes from the fact that Catherine and Henry do not even meet until halfway through the book, so I had to think of a plot device to introduce the 'spice' earlier. I hope everyone has as much fun reading it as I did writing it."

Desiree was always what she called a "hungry reader," devouring books. Her dream, from the time she could put two sentences together, was to write a book.

"I originally thought I’d write straight mysteries, but found out I liked romantic suspense better and from there into all genres of romance," she said. She has released over 130 titles and usually has multiple works in progress. She's just done the full outlines for Locked and Loaded, book two in Attack Force and books seven and eight in The Sentinels She's also finishing up the fifth book in The Phoenix Agency, the third book in Erector Set, as well out plotting out books 5-8 in her Rawhide series.

"Of course, I'd love to do another Clandestine Classic," she assured me.

"How do you develop your plot and characters?" I asked.

"Wow. I don’t think I have a set format. Usually my characters come to me first (my friends laugh at me because I get my best ideas in the shower!). I define the characters and then play the What If game with them. But sometimes that’s not true. I wrote one book when all I had to start was one line. But I loved the line so much I developed a plot around it. And another story developed from a Letter to the Editor in the local paper."

Desiree's writing space takes up most of the wall in her great room. She has a built-in computer desk with plenty of shelves and drawers and places for her small television as well as her cats to lie down and watch her work. She has French doors on the right and a huge picture window on her left, so the room is always flooded with plenty of light.

She writes every day. First thing in the morning, she takes care of emails and promo, then she writes for six hours.

"I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year so I have to take more breaks during the day than I used to which has cut down a little on my production. I keep a notebook beside me in bed while I read and watch television at night and jot down ideas that pop into my head based on what I wrote that day," she told me.

"What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?"

"You can hear my friends laugh about this one. I find I do my best work when reruns of Walker Texas Ranger is on my television. I know the shows so well I barely have to pay attention to them. My son tells me I like the program because the guy always gets the girl and the good guys always win. I wonder if Chuck Norris knows how much I owe him!"

She generally starts her research for a book with the Internet because you can find just about anything there. Depending on the genre and subject matter, she may move on. She has a neighbor who has a wolf that he keeps by special permission (it was badly injured and cannot survive in the wild) who has helped her a lot with wolf habits for her shifter series. She also has many contacts in law enforcement, a reader who owns a cutting horse ranch, and contacts in the BDSM community.

"You name it, I find them," she assured me. "The most important thing to me when I write is that I be accurate."

Desiree tries to put a little of herself in each of her heroines. She also tries to come at stories from a different angle. This helps keep her work different from other books in the same genre.

"For my Night Seekers series, for example, the books are all based on the legend of the Chupacabra, which no other romance author has done and it’s a real legend," she explained. For The Sentinels I created a real agency. And for all my cowboy series, which are many, I live in the middle of ranch country in Texas so I have lots of different things to draw from."

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.

"Well, I could say it was when I was in high school and the skirt I made in Home Ec fell apart at a basketball game but probably when I didn’t recognize one of my readers at a conference and she’s someone who’s been very loyal to me. I apologized for three days."

About the Author:
Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Holt Medallion, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”

Find Desiree online at

www.DesireeHolt.com
www.desireeholttellsall.com
Twitter: @desireeholt
www.facebook.com/desireeholtauthor

Friday, August 31, 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: AMY ARMSTRONG

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Amy Armstrong, whose latest book Pride and Prejudice, one of the Clandestine Classics from Total-E-Bound is now available. Amy will give one commenter on today's interview a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

"Pride and Prejudice, and indeed all the Clandestine Classics titles have been getting a lot of press recently, and not all of it positive. One of the most frustrating comments I’ve seen is that I just slotted in a couple of sex scenes. This is completely untrue," she assured me. "In order for Elizabeth and Darcy to embark on a sexual relationship, I had to develop the romance in the story so that when they do get together, those scenes fit seamlessly into the existing plot. Yes there are some very steamy scenes in the book, but readers will also find that the sexual tension, and thoughts and feelings of Elizabeth and Darcy have also been developed."

She would love to be able to spend the day with Jane Austen to be able to get her take on the whole Clandestine Classics situation.

"As an author, I’d be incredibly flattered to learn that two hundred years from now my books were so popular that authors were reworking the stories in some way," she told me. "But how would she feel? It would be fascinating to be able to talk to her about what it was like to be a woman in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. I’d love to know if she - as a writer, felt constricted by convention and what she would do differently if she were alive today. She was an incredible woman that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable for women in her day and I’d like to think she’d continue to do so now."

Amy's been writing since she asked her parents for a typewriter for Christmas when she was eleven.

"I’d shut myself away in my bedroom for hours making up stories and it’s a passion that has never diminished," she told me. "I first tried my hand at writing romance at the age of nineteen, but it was only a couple of years ago that I decided to seriously pursue becoming published and achieving my dream of writing for a living."

Amy has nine books published, but eight of those are M/M romance published under her pen name of Lavinia Lewis. She has three more under that name that are contracted and due to come out in the next few months. She also has three M/F erotic romance novels that are very close to completion.

"Which is your favorite?" I asked.

"I wouldn’t say I have a favourite, but several are important to me for different reasons. Luke’s Surprise was my first ever published so that book will always be special. My favourite character is Lucas ― one of the leads in Mobsters and Miracles and Pride and Prejudice is also special because it was the most challenging to write."

When Amy's not writing, one of her passions is traveling. When she was younger, she did a lot of backpacking and she's not been able to get the travel bug out of her system.

"Of course, the great thing about being an author is that it doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I can still write," she said.

"Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book," I said. "Where would you most likely want to go?"

"There are several countries I’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t made it to yet. Any South American country would do just nicely. I’d love to go to a carnival in Rio, visit the Angel Falls in Venezuela or follow the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. India is another country that just calls out to me. But, if my publisher would be kind enough to buy me a Winnebago, I’d happily drive through every state in America. Well, okay forty-eight states. Alaska is way too cold for my liking and I’ve already visited Hawaii, though if they’re feeling generous and want to throw in a luxury cruise, I’d happily go back."

Amy told me that she thinks one reason she enjoys traveling so much is because it's always too cold in her native Britain and rains far too much.

"There’s nothing quite like the feeling of stepping of a plane and having the heat hit you. Bliss!" she said.

"Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?" I wondered. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"My answer to this question would have to be yes and no. Clear as mud? Let me try to explain. I’m never short on story ideas and in fact I have about fifty works in progress at various stages of completion. I do try to concentrate on one or two stories at a time, but as I’m a total pantser, I sometimes reach a point in a story where I have no idea what is going to happen next. And yes, I have been known to stare at my laptop screen in frustration, annoyed that the next part of the story doesn’t magically appear in my mind in flashing neon signs. But I’ve learned that when that happens, the best thing for me to do is to work on something else. Let the original story tick over for a day or two and then go back to it. A little time and distance seems to work wonders on the creative juices. Always have a back up (or several) so that if you do get stuck, you are not wasting your time writing nothing."

Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? "

"My advice would be to study the craft tirelessly. And by that I mean everything from reading books on writing, attending creative writing classes either in person or online and reading books in general, particularly in the genre you are interested in writing yourself. Most writers are also voracious readers. But the important thing when reading I think is to study each sentence closely. Pay attention to how they are constructed, to word choice and punctuation. Maybe find an online critique group that gives you feedback on what you’ve written. But the most important advice I can give is just to write. That might sound obvious, but writing is a skill and is something that can be learned and improved upon. The more you write, the better you will become. "

About the Author:
Amy Armstrong is a Brit that loves chocolate, prosecco, and sunshine. She lives and breathes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but is also a fan of the classics and pretty much anything else she can get her hands on, including but not limited to thrillers, horror, dark fantasy and young adult fiction. Amy writes stories filled with heart, heat and passion. She loves stories of strong woman, but believes heroes come in all different shapes and sizes. She is happiest when writing or soaking up the sun with a pina colada in one hand and her kindle in the other. Her family and friends are an important part of her life and she loves meeting new people with similar interests. She is a full time writer and loves to hear from readers. She writes M/M romance under the name Lavinia Lewis.

Find Amy online at

http://amysscribblings.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.facebook.com/amyarmstronguk
https://twitter.com/amyarmstronguk



When the highly eligible and overtly handsome Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy first arrives in Hertfordshire, Elizabeth Bennet is instantly captivated, but his proud and arrogant manner is at odds with the heated glances he throws her way. Electrifying sexual tension soon leads to an unexpected kiss and Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down.

Misconceptions ensue and judgments abound but the attraction between the young couple endures. Can Elizabeth overlook social convention and give in to her desires for Darcy or will their Pride and Prejudice tear them apart?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

INTERVIEW: RICO LAMOUREUX

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rico Lamoureux, whose book in Six Degrees of SeXparation is due out shortly.

He will also be releasing his autobiography, Power of the Pen, in October. He also recently finished a powerful drama that involves the crossing paths of a young suppressed Afghan woman and a Ninja, entitled Bleeding Perseverance that will be out later this year, and he's currently writing an interesting story that explores the balance between madness and brilliance called Starving For Genius.

Rico has been writing since he picked up a pen and started writing when he was 11.

"In seventh grade, I won a school writing contest and got published in the school paper. It was my first real validation that I indeed have a talent for storytelling. Twenty-seven years later, I still feel the magic every time I put pen to paper!" he said. "Occasionally I'll put fingertips to a keyboard, but nothing takes the place of doing it the old-fashioned way."

"How do you personally distinguish between pornography, erotica, and erotic romance?" I asked.

"Pornography is just about the "Wham, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am." No substance at all. In erotica, sex drives the plot forward, as in my book Sex Degrees Of SeXparation. With erotic romance, story and character are the driving forces, as with my drama, Bleeding Perseverance."

I asked him who his favorite erotic author was.

"I hardly ever read erotica and/or erotic romance. Personally, I prefer to not read in the genre I write because I feel in order to stay unique in my writing I shouldn’t fill my brain with other authors' styles of writing, but instead come at it with my own individual voice. I read just about every other genre out there, but in order to stay in alignment with my own personal truth I avoid reading from my own genre."

Writing from his own personal truth is something Rico feels very strongly about, telling me that you can't go wrong that way.

"This doesn’t mean you have to go out and experience every little thing your characters are experiencing," he explained. "It means only you have lived your life, and therefore only you have this unique perspective that can tell stories like no other. So that first element is the most important. To recognize that your individuality is your greatest asset. The other essential element is to be honest with yourself. You’ll know when you’ve produced your best work."

I asked Rico to tell us about his writing space.

"I'm currently on the other side of the world in Manila and find it very difficult to write in such harsh heat," he said. "My writing desk is the most expensive thing I currently won. It's my sanctuary, which currently has a half dozen paperbacks atop it, alongside a few erotic Sailor Moon figurines and my desk lamp."

For the past six or so years, Rico's sleeping schedule centers around his writing.

"Every two to three weeks I’ll go from a day schedule to a night schedule, depending on the time of day my creative juices feel like flowing. So whether I’m waking up at six in the morning or six in the evening, after I eat I have to get straight to the writing. Anything stops me from doing so and my whole day is usually shot! My brain and pen demand to be numero uno before anything else," he said with a laugh.

"What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?" I wondered.

"As a teen I went totally blind in my left eye. Eleven years later, in 2001, my condition spread to my right eye, leaving me near legally blind. But my driven nature doesn’t know how to slow down!"

Finally, I asked him, "What are you passionate about these days? Building a strong foundation for the child my wife and I plan to have in the near future. We both come from nothing, and promised that we would be patient until we could provide the kind of life for our child that neither of us ever had. Thanks to the kindness of my readers, that dream is on the brink of coming true!"

About the Author: Ten years ago Rico Lamoureux left behind everything he ever knew and headed for the other side of the world in the name of love. Never could he have imagined what lay ahead.

Faced with overwhelming obstacles under Third World conditions, he refused to return home without his soul mate and therefore remains among the harsh environment he describes as “the complete opposite from the Land of Opportunity.”

With so many years having passed, Rico’s unwavering American spirit has kept him going strong, now using his passion for storytelling to pave the way towards a better future.

“I’m writing my way back home one pen stroke at a time.”

Find Rico online at

www.RicoLamoureux.com
www.facebook.com/RicoLamoureux
www.twitter.com/RicoLamoureux

The unleashing of a sexual beast, a sexplorer's discovery of a lifetime, and the cherishing of a pristine innocent. Add this to an erogenous tale of curiosity in "The Pink French" and the quenching of a lustful thirst in "Business Class" and you've got five salacious short stories linked by six passionate characters in Six Degrees of SeXparation.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

INTERVIEW: MARIE SEXTON

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Marie Sexton, whose latest book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , is part of the Clandestine Classics collection from Total-E-Bound. She will give away a download of it to one random commenter on today's interview.

Marie told me that she believes that Jules Verne had it in his head all along that Pierre was in love with Ned in the original Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, so it was set up perfectly for this new series.

"If you read the original, you’ll see what I mean. Pierre gushes about Ned all the time - how he’s so strong and rugged, with his mighty harpoon and his piercing gaze," she said. "All I did was open the bedroom door."

Marie started writing in the summer of 2009 and had her first book published in January 2010. She's since written about thirteen books; her favorites among them tend to change.

"I love the A to Z series because Angelo is so much a part of my heart. I love Between Sinners and Saints for very personal reasons. I also love the Oestend series, because I think it’s unique. That series is by far my most ambitious work," she explained.

She has also just stared a story called Release that she is very excited about.

"It’s a cyberpunk about a whore and a slave. It’s very dark. Very kinky. Almost disturbing," she told me. "It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written."

"What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?" I wondered.

"Oh, this is such a hard question, but so fun!" she exclaimed. "First (going way back), John D. Fitzgerald. I think his Great Brain books are what taught me to love a quirky, sometimes unreliable, first person narrator.

"Alan Dean Foster. I can’t pinpoint exactly how, but I can say that I spent my early teen years reading everything by him I could get my hands on.

"JK Rowling, who reinforced for me the idea that a huge, sweeping tale can be told from a single point of view. (She strays a tiny bit, but not very damn much!)

"And Sarah Monette, because every single thing I do, I hold up next to Melusine and The Virtu (and I always come up short)."

Marie was born in Evanston, Wyoming, and spent the first eleven years of her life there.

"There’s a line in one of my favorite movies that goes something like this: 'Every writer has a conflicted relationship with the town he grew up in.' That’s definitely true for me," she said. "It’s sort of a gross little truck stop town, lots of drug traffic (I think?) and more adult arcades per capita than anyplace else I’ve ever seen, but it somehow still represents innocence to me. It’s a strange juxtaposition."

In high school, Marie told me she mostly hung out with the burnouts and the rejects.

"I was in the advanced classes in most subjects, so I had a lot of friends who were brainy, but I wouldn’t classify them as nerds. We were the drifters, I think. We were the folks who weren’t cool enough to fit in with the preps, who didn’t go to any graduation parties because we had jobs, and who ditched the school pep rallies to smoke in the parking lot."

"What was the scariest moment of your life?" I asked.

"The moment I realized I’d have to reveal to my Mormon family that I was writing gay romance. Actually, they took it very well. All except for my mother, that is. She burst into tears."

I asked Marie about the best fan letter she'd ever received.

"I had one amazing letter from a young man who had just read Promises and was trying to decide if he could come out to his mother or not. I’ve also received some truly touching letters about Between Sinners and Saints. Many of them are from Mormons or people who were raised Mormon, and a decent number were from Christians of other denominations, but all of them have thanked me for being fair to the religious side of the story and for not taking the easy way out and making religion = bad. There are plenty of books in my genre that turn religion into the antagonist, but that wasn’t where I wanted to go. Levi’s family are wonderful people. They’re real, compassionate people who love each other very much. They just happen to have this point of contention over Levi’s sexual orientation."

"Could you ever co-author a book with someone?" I wondered. "If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?"

"Funny you should ask!" She laughed. "Actually, I have two books coming out soon that were co-written with my good friend Heidi Cullinan. They’re both contemporaries. First, there’s Second Hand, which I started and she finished. This is part of the Tucker Springs series, which also includes LA Witt. We also have a book called Family Man, which we started a year and a half ago and finally finished. We don’t know yet who will publish it, but with any luck, it will be available in early 2013. Also, my good friend Ethan Stone has been trying to talk me into writing a book with him. Right now, we both have other projects going, but it’s something we’re both keeping in mind."

"When you aren't writing, what do you like to do?" I asked.

"I save puppies and feed the homeless." She paused for a long second. "Okay. Not really. Mostly, I chase my 8-year old and sit on my ass."

Finally, I asked her, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Writing is like parenting - read every single book you can find on the subject, and then throw them all away. Take what works and forget the rest. There are a lot of people out there who claim to know The Way, but the only real right way is the way that ends in a finished book."

About the Author:
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

You can get all of her announcements and updates on your phone with her free app for iPhone or Android.



Professor Pierre Aronnax, world-renowned Naturalist, is part of an elite team of men commissioned to investigate a series of attacks on international shipping. Are the attacks the work of some ancient sea monster, or is this “monster” actually a manmade vessel? No one is certain, but either way, Pierre’s assignment is the same: find it and destroy it.

The hunt soon becomes tedious, and Pierre is distracted by Ned Land, a sexy and temperamental harpooner who has his sites set on the Professor. The two begin a passionate affair, but an encounter with the creature they seek changes everything.

Professor Aronnax, Ned Land, and their friend Conseil find themselves held hostage aboard The Nautilus, a secret submarine helmed by the mysterious Captain Nemo. For Pierre, life on The Nautilus is ideal. He spends his days studying the sea’s wonders, and his nights with Ned, discovering a passion he’s never known. But how long can it last? Captain Nemo is reckless, and Ned is determined to escape. Caught between two charismatic men and the opportunity of a lifetime, Pierre will have to choose: leave The Nautilus, or lose the man he loves forever?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Win during our 5th Anniversary Party!


We're celebrating our 5th Anniversary with a huge party -- where you can win $100 Amazon GC, $50 Amazon GC, and hundreds of smaller prizes:  books, $5 Amazon GCs and more!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

INTERVIEW: MICHAEL MANDRAKE

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Michael Mandrake, one of the three pseudonyms of Sharita Lira, whose latest novella, Vertigo, is available from Sizzler Editions. Michael will give one commenter on today's interview a download of Under the Gun.

I asked Sharita to tell us about her pseudonyms.

"I have three of them and I enjoy them all. BL has been with me the longest. Comes from my days as a goth girl. Michael I created about 2 years ago when I thought I needed a male name to write m/m romance and Rawiya means storyteller. It’s perfect since she’s long-winded and likes to bring out more romance in her characters than the other two."

Between the three muses, Sharita has thirteen sole author books. Her favorite so far is a book her fem pseudo, Rawiya, wrote called Smooth Like Latte.

"It’s an interracial romance like Under the Gun but I love the two men in it because they’re very emotional," she said.

Michael actually started writing short erotica in his late teens, then moved on to fanfiction. He received good comments from the writers list he belonged to and from his peers and that moved him to continue writing. He's been writing professionally for almost two years.

For No Boundaries Press, Under the Gun is a series, so Michael will be starting the next book in that series shortly.

"Camdyn and Malik are getting quite antsy," he told me.

One of the hardest parts of writing for this author is showing versus telling. He considers it one of the most important elements of good writing and admitted that it's something he still struggles with. He also agonizes of the endings of his books and often wonders if he finished the story too quickly.

The muses write at the kitchen table.

"We don’t have a lot of space in my home. I’d love to have a corner somewhere to myself with some quiet, hopefully sooner than later," Sharita said.

A bit of both plotter and pantser, Michael does a character arc and a short bio, but doesn't do an extensive outline, preferring instead to let the story flow freely.

One thing Sharita would do differently on her journey to being published is she would have a beta reader from the beginning.

"The books did okay but I have noticed how much better I’ve gotten by having someone to read the book before it goes to the publisher."

Sharita told me she'll always prefer print, because she loves the feel of a book, but she can't argue with being able to hold several books on her Kindle Fire. In fact, her Kindle Fire is one of the five modern conveniences she would want to have with her if she were stranded on a desert island. The others are her mp3, a shower, toilet, and refrigerator.

"Do I have a home?" she asked, laughing. "Surely hope so!"

One of her favorite characters is Nathan from My Lieutenant written by her BLMorticia pseudonym. "He's snarky, a smart ass, and very handsome," she explained.

"What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?" I asked.

"Stay with it and don’t get discouraged. Listen to your editors, fellow authors, and betas." About the Author: Michael Mandrake is the author of several novellas including his latest, Vertigo from Sizzler Editions. His next books, True Meaning 2: The Complete Portrait and Under the Gun the Series from No Boundaries Press are due out in 2012. He also blogs at Wicked Muse Society for kicks. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com.

The Literary Triad - http://www.thelitriad.com/#!
Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com
BLMorticia - http://blrawiyaerotica.blogspot.com
Rawiya - http://rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/rawiyamikembl
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TheLiteraryTriad
Kindlegraph - http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/rawiyamikembl
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Camdyn Hardy is a former cop who has his own private investigator business. Due to a misunderstanding from a client, he gets into an argument with his lover Tay. Right after, they breakup Camdyn is left alone to think about his future as a PI and his love life.

Malik Day was recently discharged under the DADT policy and is looking to get his life on track The main reason he joined was because he dreamed of being a ranking officer. Now that it’s been taken away, he desires to start his life anew and find someone to share it with.

After two weeks the men meet at a shooting range and find out they have a lot in common. Once they engage in a one on one match, they proceed to a bar to have drinks and get to know one another better. They both discover their affinity for guns as well as Camdyn’s need for a new partner at Camdyn & Associates. Malik is intrigued but afraid to ask him and decides to wait till they are closer. Camdyn is excited about this prospect as well but waits for Malik to say the word. Finally, in an erotic encounter, true feelings are revealed.

In subsequent books, the story continues where the twosome begin their work and love relationship. Together they’ll take on cases investigating cheating husbands or wives, companies with defector employees all the while trying to maintain their newfound commitment to one another as well as having a little fun in the process.